Disgruntled farmers refuse the offer of the alternate protest site, insist on reaching the heart of the capital
NEW DELHI (PTI):
A large number of farmers, aggrieved over the three agriculture bills enacted by the government recently, reiterated that they would not accept the Delhi Police's offer to hold their protest at the Sant Nirankari ground at Burari in North Delhi.
The numbers of demonstrators swelled at the Singhu border as the farmers camping there for the 'Delhi Chalo' protest march were joined by more counterparts from Punjab and Haryana, all of them refusing to move towards the Sant Nirankari ground, one of the largest in the national capital.
"We have come all the way to protest against the Centre's new farm laws. What will we do at the Nirankari ground in Burari, satsang? The government took votes from the farmers by sitting in central Delhi. We want to go to Janpath and gherao Parliament house. We will not go back from here," said Manish Kadian, 38 years-old, a resident of a village in Haryana's Jhajjar district.
He said the farmers have rejected the Delhi Police's offer to hold the protest at the ground in Burari.
Gurmej Singh, 62 years-old, from Punjab, said the farmers will not give up unless they can reach Jantar Mantar or Ramlila Ground in the heart of the national capital and hold their "peaceful" protest there.
"We will not go to Nirankari ground. We will either go to Jantar Mantar or Ramlila ground or we will sit here. We have enough ration for six months and will not leave the highway," he said.
Many of these farmers continued to hold their protest peacefully at the Singhu border where they have been holding meetings to decide on their next course of action and have also made arrangements for a long stay at the Delhi-Haryana border.
Many farmers cleaned the roads, cooked their lunch and collected garbage, keeping in mind the importance of hygiene especially amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Most farmers gathered at the Tikri border between Delhi and Haryana too have refused the Delhi Police's offer to go to the north Delhi protest site.
The farmers at the Tikri border also seem to have come prepared for a long haul. They have come fully prepared with rations and utensils to cook food, and have been charging their phones in their vehicles.
Farmers protesting against the Centre's three farm laws have expressed apprehension that the laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates.
The Centre has invited several Punjab farmer organisations for another round of talks in Delhi on December 3. (PTI)
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